WHEN acting through our physical human brain and body, the mind displays a complex dualism—the pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.
The reason for it is simple. We are not separate from the universe. The manifested universe itself is ruled by duality: day and night, sleeping and waking, hot and cold.
Physical substance is “necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity,” says The Secret Doctrine (1:15) — and the “manifested universe is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its ex-istence as ‘manifestation.'”
The struggle between the dual channels of our mind is a challenge that few of us are able to successfully navigate, and reconcile, in one short lifetime. But help was always on the way.
For centuries the solution had been taught by advanced masters of life such as Lao-tse, Patanjali, Krishna and Buddha. Each assured us that self-awakening is entirely possible—by daily ‘now’ meditation, raja yoga practice, and above all else, by altruistic service to family and humanity.
The struggle for control in meditation is caused by our split consciousness. The mind’s higher spiritual aspect gravitates toward altruism, says Theosophy, while the tides of its companion personal side is attached to outer forms, desires, survival and other material concerns.
The result is that all human minds are often blown by the winds of sense into the low lying eddies and currents of material thought. Like a balloon losing helium, we drift down from the god within us, and away from our kinship with the soul of things.
Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is really a faulty of our god-soul, our intuitional power base — the manifestation all-knowingness in human beings.
Our all-seeing self and personal self are caught in a Hamlet-like to-be-or-not-to-be, we are alternately pitted by the gut and brain consciousness, against the heart feeling. This sets up an confusing conflict between the true god and the demigod in us. Yet, “peace is just a thought away” according to Jill Bolte Taylor.
This struggle of selves is dramatized by neuroanatomist Bolte-Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s professional focus is anatomical, the relationship between the brain’s left and right hemispheres.
Return to Source
“What grace to see that the very thing that looked so heavy in the world of form, the very thing that seemed to be limiting me on all sides, that very thing is the doorway into the formless and into who I am beyond form. What grace to see that ultimately they are one. Form is emptiness — emptiness is form. They are one.” -Eckhart Tolle
“It is the function of the physical, lower mind to act upon the physical organs and their cells; but, it is the higher mind alone which can influence the atoms interacting in these cells,” Blavatsky wrote in Psychic and Noetic Action.
The interaction of spirit with matter, she said, “is alone capable of exciting the brain, via the spinal “center” cord, to a mental representation of spiritual ideas far beyond any objects on this material plane.
“The phenomena of divine consciousness have to be regarded as activities of our mind on another and a higher plane, working through something less substantial than the moving molecules of the brain.”
“They cannot be explained as the simple resultant of the cerebral physiological processes,” Blavatsky concludes, “as indeed the latter only condition them or give them a final form for purposes of concrete manifestation.”
Stroke of Insight
As Bolte-Taylor recounts her experiences during a stroke in the below video clip, we get a graphic picture of the two physical hemispheres of the brain, and how each is a unique vehicle to express the Yin-Yang of ‘self’ and their relationship. Both “selves” represented by the two brain hemispheres are necessary — but they are also in urgent need of very rigorous cleansing, balancing and prioritizing by us humans, as Bolte-Taylor explains.
The old teaching of a Universal Cosmic Mind is the metaphysical counterpart of the astrophysical discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB.) This universal intelligent principle is the ubiquitous substratum of the universe in occult philosophy.
Metaphysically it is the “Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE,” the inspired first fundamental, god or “Be-ness,” explained in the Proem of H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine.
Consciousness at this expansive scale has no single locale, but like the radiation of the CMB, is suffused throughout every atom in space (and our physical body and brain,) and may be likened to the screen in a movie theater — but is much more than this.
On the level of nature and humankind this intelligent background is the indefinable source of consciousness in all things.
Without the universal mind, like the metaphorical screen, there can be no conscious life experience— no ‘movie’ to enjoy.
Old esoteric science is called the ‘thread-doctrine,’ Blavatsky insists, because it strings together
“all the ancient philosophical religious systems, and reconciles and explains them all.”
Just as there was one humanity linked indissolubly with nature, and imbued with one universal, divine substance-principle, in the occult scientific world all life is sacred, because all particles are considered ‘god particles,’ not the imaginary blind material substance of science.
Not only does esoteric science reconcile apparently conflicting systems, Blavatsky reminds us,”but it checks the discoveries of modern exact science and
shows some of them to be necessarily correct, since they are found corroborated in the ancient records.”
“Science is, undeniably, ultra-materialistic in our days,” Blavatsky wrote, and “naturalists refuse to blend physics with metaphysics, the body with its informing soul and spirit, which they prefer ignoring.”
Because Nature behaving esoterically is only judged [by science] “through her appearance — and that appearance is always deceitful on the physical plane.”
Occultists understand the existence of a separate “god particle” is the epitome of scientific materialism — though 2,000 physicists from hundreds of universities and laboratories in 34 countries at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are still searching for it.
“Some people find God in church, some in the great outdoors,” argues Cecil Adams in The Straight Dope, “but it takes truly transcendent geekiness to find divinity in the Large Hadron Collider.”
The concept of a universe based on Intelligent Design owes its inspiration to the ancient tenet, taught by adept seers, who insisted that consciousness and intelligence were everywhere, and in every being and particle of the universe. Even in every metallic and electrical atom of the Large Hadron Collider, though never revealed by mindlessly banging their all-suffering little heads together, atomic-cruelty indeed.
God of the LHC
The occult idea is really about “the One homogeneous divine Substance-Principle, the one radical cause.” This is the divine substance-presence Mme. Blavatsky refers to in her Secret Doctrine as the ‘force’ latent in every atom, what is “neither Spirit nor matter, but both.”
The same meta-teaching of The Secret Doctrine further expands the concept noting: “it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as ‘I am I’, a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the universal mind at a certain stage of complexity.”
What this has to do with our subject, is explained by the same occult physics. It asserts that once absolute consciousness begins to exhibit itself in a universe — as the electromagnetic force brightens a light bulb — a corresponding shadow is produced, and:
… duality supervenes in the contrast of spirit, or consciousness, and matter, subject and object.”
Becoming more human mind beings, occult psychology, necessarily results gradually in the loss of our “instinct” and favors reason, much like a growing child. But in losing this animal ability, man also loses “his intuitional powers, which are the crown and ultimatum of instinct,” this same occult doctrine says.
“Reason is the clumsy weapon of the scientists,” Blavatsky concludes, “— intuition the unerring guide of the seer.”
“There are as many neurons in the brain as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy,” so it is not surprising, says encognitive.com, “that, despite the glow from recent advances in the science of the brain and mind, we still find ourselves squinting in the dark…”
“Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o’er the stormy sea of human life, and how exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged, they drop one after other on the swelling waves. Tossed by the fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and disappear …”
“If through the Hall of Wisdom, thou would’st reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of separateness that weans thee from the rest.”